Leatt: Motto and Off-Road gear launch by Dirt Rider magazine:
Leatt now offers motocross and off-road pants, jerseys, gloves and jackets.
By Sean KlingerPhotos By Sean Klinger and Courtesy Of Leatt August 25, 2016
This is Leatt's cobranded store in Whistler Village in BC, Canada, one of the Meccas of downhill mountain biking.
Leatt is synonymous with neck protection yet over the last few years the South African company has really broadened its gear catalog to include a vast array of limb, joint, and chest protection products. Well, now they are expanding even more with four jerseys, two pants, two jackets, and four gloves.
When we were first told about the Leatt gear lines, to be honest, we were scratching our heads a little bit. Why gear? With so many established gear companies, why try to get into what appears to us as a pretty saturated market already. Yet after the product launch in Whistler, BC, Canada, (where we got to do some epic downhill mountain biking) we came away with with a pretty good idea how and why Leatt launched itself into the moto/off-road gear arena.
A look at both the GPX 4.5 Lite and 5.5 Ultraweld jerseys. Leatt has also introduced a ton more helmet colorways tat match their gear perfectly, and look good on their own
According to Todd Repsher, General Manager of Leatt in the Americas, it was as simple as supply and demand. Leatt had been hearing from a lot of their riders and from customers that they wanted gear made from the company that they already had neck braces and body protection from. If you are familiar with Leatt at all, it is quite a apparent that it is a certification and technology based company. They start every product design with performance and protection in mind first, then aesthetics or style are applied later. Todd also mentioned that Leatt was somewhat known as the “Neck Brace Police” but at this point he explains that Leatt understands that neck braces aren’t for everyone and that, as a company, they just want people to ride safe. That is the reason Leatt has so an exhaustive list of protection products and now they have gear to go with it.
Following this way of thinking, the new pants and jerseys aren’t just the same old gear with Leatt logos on them. Leatt approached making moto/off-road gear the same way they approached any of their other product and it shows with the amount of unique features in the gear.
A new item is the all black knee brace underpant that wraps completely around your knee braces/guards so that they can't fall down. Also pictured are some of Leatt's best selling products, the Dual Axis Knee Shin Guard.
Jerseys: There are four different jerseys. From high to low, there is the GPX 5.5 Ultraweld, GPX 4.5 Windblock, GPX 4.5 Lite, and GPX 4.5 X-Flow. Other than the Windbock, all of the jerseys have multiple colorways, but they are all color matched to the two different cuts of pant.
GPX 5.5 Ultraweld Jersey: $74.99 It's a premium price, but after a day of riding in the jersey (albeit on a downhill bike) we can say it is definitely a premium jersey. The fit is a slim, performance style yet the mesh-like, highly vented material has a ton of four-way stretch. And as the name says, the seems are tape-bonded and bar task stitched so it is both comfortable, durable, and stretches as much as the rest of the jersey. There is brush protection and ventilation in their respective critical areas.
GPX 4.5 Windblock Jersey: $54.99 All of the 4.5 jerseys have a "tailored fit" plus a degree of stretch, but they are not as slim fit as the 5.5. The Windblock is for cooler weather where a jacket might be overkill and is dirt/water repellent. The back is moisture-wicking mesh.
GPX 4.5 Lite Jersey: $39.99 The 4.5 Lite is probably what we would consider having a standard jersey weight - not super vented but not for cold weather. It still has a tailored fit and moisture-wicking stretch fabric.
GPX 4.5 X-Flow Jersey: $34.99 The X-Flow is the fully vented jersey of the 4.5 line. It also has a stretch fit, but isn't made of the same UltraLight material that the 5.5 Ultraweld jersey. As you can tell, even with different designs, all of the jerseys have similar color combinations so that they can be mixed-and-matched with the two different pant options.
Pants: The two different pants are the GPX 5.5 I.K.S. and the GPX 4.5. I.K.S. stands for Internal Knee brace System and it was explained to us as sort of like Mips for your knees. There are multiple materials in the inner knee area that are designed to slide on each other, therefore reducing the wear on the bike and pants from knee braces. Instead of leather or other common knee area materials, the GPX 5.5 has NanoGrip, the same tough but thin material used in the palm of Leatt’s gloves. Also, the entire chassis is made of very stretchy materials. The GPX 4.5 doesn’t have the I.K.S. or the NanoGrip and is made from a few less panels and has a roomier fit.
GPX 5.5 I.K.S. Pant: $179.99 We know that some of you will look at the price and write this pant off right away, but if you give it a chance, it might just change the way you look at moto/off-road pants. More than 75 percent of the pant is made out of super lightweight, ventilated diamond stretch material that is aimed at offering maximum movement on the bike. Next is the Inner Knee Brace System that is like Mips for your knees. Not from a protection standpoint, but from a not-wearing-a-hole-in-your-pant standpoint. There are slip layers inside the pant that are design to negate the friction of bike/knee contact.
This is the I.K.S. pant inside out. There is a abrasion resistant layer in the pant as well so that knee braces and/or guards don't gouge a hole.
Here is the knee cup of the 5.5 I.K.S. pant that has a good amount of padding in it. In the background you can see the NanoGrip material that is also used in the palms of Leatt's gloves.
GPX 4.5 Pant: $119.99 This is still a performance fit pant with a lot of diamond stretch material, just a few less panels than the 5.5 and no I.K.S. Also, instead of NanoGrip the inner knee material is Amara, which is a type of synthetic leather.
Gloves: There are five gloves ranging from super minimalistic to weather proof, full-protection. The NanoGrip palms on all the gloves are very thin yet grippy and durable. We’ve actually rode with some of the 2016 gloves and they have become one staffer’s go-to glove.
GPX 5.5 Windblock Glove: $69.99 This is Leatt's burliest glove with thicker material to keep cold out and the maximum amount of ArmorGel protection, which is the same non-Newtonian material used in ballistic applications.
From left to right: GPX 2.5 X-Flow: $34.99
3.5 Lite: $45.99
4.5 Lite: $54.99
5.5 Lite: $64.99
All of these gloves have the NanoGrip palm yet you can choose how much ArmorGel protection you want. The 2.5 X-Flow has none, and has the lightest material. The other three all have the Lite material and increasing knuckle and hand protection.